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Same-sex male couples and single men having children using assisted reproductive technology: a quantitative analysis

  • Shilini Hemalal
    Affiliations
    Create Fertility Centre, 790 Bay Street, Suite 1100, Toronto Ontario M5G1N8, Canada

    Institute of Medical Sciences, Medical Sciences Building, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto Ontario M5S 1A8, Canada
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  • Samantha Yee
    Affiliations
    Create Fertility Centre, 790 Bay Street, Suite 1100, Toronto Ontario M5G1N8, Canada
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  • Lori Ross
    Affiliations
    Institute of Medical Sciences, Medical Sciences Building, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto Ontario M5S 1A8, Canada

    Department of Psychiatry, University of Toronto, 250 College Street, Toronto Ontario M5T 1R8, Canada

    Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, 155 College Street, Toronto Ontario M5T 3M6, Canada

    Centre for Addiction and Mental Health, 250 College Street, Toronto Ontario M5T 1R8, Canada
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  • Mona Loutfy
    Affiliations
    Department of Medicine, Medical Sciences Building, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto Ontario M5S 1A8, Canada

    Institute of Health Policy, Management and Evaluation, University of Toronto, 155 College Street, Toronto Ontario M5T 3M6, Canada

    Women's College Research Institute, Women's College Hospital, 76 Grenville Street, Toronto Ontario M5G 1N8, Canada

    Institute for Clinical Evaluative Sciences, Sunnybrook Health Sciences Centre, 2075 Bayview Avenue, Toronto Ontario M4N 3M5, Canada
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  • Clifford Librach
    Correspondence
    Corresponding author.
    Affiliations
    Create Fertility Centre, 790 Bay Street, Suite 1100, Toronto Ontario M5G1N8, Canada

    Institute of Medical Sciences, Medical Sciences Building, University of Toronto, 1 King's College Circle, Toronto Ontario M5S 1A8, Canada

    Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Toronto, 123 Edward Street, Suite 1200, Toronto Ontario M5G 1E2, Canada

    Department of Physiology, University of Toronto, 27 King's College Circle, Toronto Ontario M5S 3K1, Canada

    Department of Gynecology, Women's College Hospital, 76 Grenville Street, Toronto Ontario M5G 1N8, Canada
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Published:August 28, 2020DOI:https://doi.org/10.1016/j.rbmo.2020.08.032

      Abstract

      Research question

      How do same-sex male couples (SSMC) and single men perceive their experience of using assisted reproductive technology (ART) in Canada; what factors contribute to their experience and the decisions made throughout the ART process?

      Design

      This cross-sectional study used an anonymous online survey to gather exploratory data (between August 2018 and August 2019) about participant experience and decision-making considerations, for SSMC and single men internationally who had undergone ART in Canada. The survey was accessed by 145 individuals; 98 participants were included in the final analysis. Statistical Package for the Social Sciences (SPSS) was used for quantitative analysis.

      Results

      Four out of five participants had a positive overall experience of using ART in Canada. Having the social support of knowing others who had previously pursued ART, and needing to work with multiple egg donors, were found to affect overall experience significantly. Agencies were the most common way for intended parents to connect with third parties. Major factors men considered when choosing an egg donor included medical history, physical attributes, personality and temperament, ethnicity, and education; they tended to select gestational surrogates who had similar lifestyle values to themselves. Most coupled survey respondents created embryos using each partner's spermatozoa (73.6%).

      Conclusions

      This exploratory study expands on limited knowledge of the current topic, identifying key areas for future research. Most SSMC and single men, domestic and internationally, had a positive experience pursuing ART in Canada to have children. Research on the experiences of SSMC and single men and decision-making considerations should continue.

      KEYWORDS

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      Biography

      Shilini Hemalal completed her Bachelor of Arts and Science in 2017 at the University of Guelph, and her Master of Science in 2019 at the University of Toronto. She completed her thesis at CReATe Fertility Centre with Dr Librach. She is now studying in Australia to complete her Medical Doctorate.
      Key message
      Same-sex male couples and single men accessing assisted reproductive technology (ART) in Canada report a positive experience. Social support of men who pursued ART and worked with multiple egg donors significantly affected overall experience. Understanding the experiences of unique groups using ART can result in informed, inclusive reproductive healthcare practices.